Venezuela’s First University-EMT Course Launches

Friday, September 27, 2013

Finally, it’s here. Venezuela’s first university-accredited EMT course (locally called PAME – Proveedor de Auxilio Médico de Emergencia) began September 14 and will run through April of 2014. An initiative of A Tu Lado’s partners, La Fundación Venemergencia and Universidad Simón Bolívar’s School of Continuing Education, this is first EMT course in Venezuela to bear a university diploma.

This is not just a symbolic step. This paves the way towards standardization in EMS education and certifications throughout the country, starting with Caracas. Twelve of the course’s 27 students are paramedics from the public sector, with 6 more from Venemergencia. Other students include Caracas firefighters, volunteers from local response brigades in Caracas communities, a nurse, and a few lay people seeking to start a new career.

To launch something like this in a strong economy is a challenge; to do so in Venezuela’s current economy is nothing short of exceptional. On a trajectory towards 45% inflation this year, Venezuela’s economy remains under severe stress. Banks hesitate to lend, and the country faces widespread shortages of staples from food to hygiene. The fact that 27 students invested their hard-earned money in the nation’s first university-accredited EMT course demonstrates the value that this education brings its graduates.

We couldn’t be more proud of the leadership A Tu Lado’s partners have shown. Moreover, we are honored to have played a role in planting the seeds for the PAME course in 2011.  We wish our partners and the students all the best as they prepare for their third day of class tomorrow.